Sunday, October 23, 2016

[Vanishing Trade] The Mamak Shop along Jln Todak

Mr Majid standing proudly in front of his mamak store
Tucked away along the five-foot way of Jalan Todak stands a provision shop or what we locally call, a Mamak Shop. I've passed by the shop many times but today, there was something about the shop that caught my attention.

The owner did not seemed too bothered whether there was business or not. In the 30 minutes that I'd observed the shop from the opposite coffeeshop. He sold just two packs of cigarettes and in between, he'd just plonked himself down on a plastic chair, looking out towards nothingness.

Looking out towards Lorong Todak
I cooked up an excuse to stop by his shop, saying that I'd wanted to buy some sweets. His shop offered none as he said that, "the sweets will melt. Maybe you want to go to 7-Eleven".

The ice was broken and this was the opportunity for me to have a closer look at his wares and at the same time, find out more about this interesting mamak shop.

Cigarettes, cigarette paper, lighters, lighter fuel

Looking at what Mr Majid has at his hole-in-the-wall shop, there were really nothing that interest me, actually. It's cigarettes, cigarettes and more cigarettes.

Though I did not buy anything from this veteran owner, he was still more than willing to talk about the nostalgic past. He claimed that he has been running this Mamak Shop for about 45 years. The building in which the mamak shop is located was said to be built in He's kept the shop opened 365 days a year. In his heydays, his shop used to span about twice its current length and to manage the shop, he used to employ four others, including his brother.

Mr Majid also mentioned that he indeed, sold more items in the past. But now, he has cut down on the items that he's selling. Business was booming in the past as there were popular coffeeshops and a market nearby.

No comments: